No matter what age, taking many medications and supplements can be a tricky business. Some medications must be taken with food, two hours before eating or before bedtime. Ensuring these medications are taken as directed can be a full time job in and of itself. Additionally, what happens when the patient is not able to manage their medications themselves? Or YOU have to ensure proper timing?
We are proud people. We don';t like to ask for help when we think we can manage it all on our own even when life falls apart. Even when people ask "how can I help?" either we don't know how they can help or we are ashamed to accept help.
But look at a lion's pride. There is the leader of the pack and then the pride. And only with every member is the pride strong. They support and protect each other within their hierarchy.
And so it is with you being a caregiver. You are the leader of the pack and in order to stay strong and survive you need to trade your pride for the pride of support. And that's ok. You have permission without guilt or shame.
Believe it or not, people want to help. Allowing them to do so brings joy for them and relief for you. As the article states, you need space to think. Space to clear your mind before taking on the next challenge.
Remember how you felt the last time someone took care of you? Remember how grateful you were that they were there? Maybe you didn't need a of help, but you were just glad there was another person with you. Someone you knew you could count on.
Caregivers are amazing people. Maybe you are one of them. Or maybe you have a loved one that is being taken care of. Either way, you know the appreciation you feel. Expressing that appreciation and gratitude can be hard to relay.
Of course the best way to say thanks is to be sincere. Any time you speak from your heart, people will hear your message in the intent it was given. If you aren't great at face to face, here are three other ways to say thanks!
Tell their employer about the wonderful service they have provided
Give specific examples of times when they went above and beyond their job responsibilities or took the extra time to just be with your loved one.
Give them a holiday bonus
Who doesn't love a little bonus? It really doesn't matter what the amount is. It's the sincere gesture that you appreciate them. Of course it's always great to know their interests and likes, but even a gas card that can be kept for emergencies would be appreciated.
Just a note
I am a big believer in handwritten notes and your caregivers will appreciate them too. Your thank you or message doesn't have to be long or mushy, just let them know that you are happy they are there.
It's the little pieces of words and actions that make the biggest impression. It's knowing that your caregiver is there for you to count on. And that gives you the most precious gift - peace.
To your Most Peaceful Self!
People from all kinds of careers are jumping in. it's almost as if you can hear the battle cry, "The Boomers are coming! The Boomers are coming!" New assisted living facilities are being built, new flavors of memory care communities are cropping up every month, and new search tools and online pages show up every day on the web, offering a new way to find the care that you need for your loved one.
Kinda overwhelming, isn't it?
Technology affords us convenience at every turn. You can make a deposit without a deposit slip. You can order anything you need online, from socks to vehicles to legal advice. You can pay bills, buy tickets, and book flights. You can even study the progression of Alzheimer's disease and double check the spelling of osteoporosis. But when it comes to finding the care that you need for your loved one, photos and images and prices on a screen cannot give you what you need most - the personal insight of an experienced senior advocate.
Potentially a senior can save significant money by hiring a companion recommended from church or their neighbor’s friend who has been out of work. It’s a win/win for everybody – right? Wrong! What is their recourse if this win/win situation starts going badly? There is no boss or company where they can voice concerns. Last week, I attended the Care Revolution Conference in Anaheim, CA and met over 20 home care company owners and managers. One manager shared that the majority of her potential caregiver applicants do not pass the drug screening. I was shocked. Another home care owner shared that 40% of the remaining applicants don’t pass the criminal background check. Reputable agencies have a vetting process so a senior can have confidence about who is in their home providing care.
Home care owners shared with me that seniors who hire a caregiver “under the table,” become employers and are responsible for taxes and social security of their employee. Seniors should check with their accountant and consider the ramifications of paying quarterly taxes for an employee. Initially, it may sound like a bargain to pay a caregiver “under the table.” Seniors need to consider the long-term financial consequences and legalities. It seems crazy to me that a senior needing help would become an employer and have to pay quarterly taxes.
If a caregiver claims a work injury while working for a senior, costs can climb upwards to $300,000 after surgery, therapies and loss time from work. Some caregivers work for multiple companies, so one never really knows if the injury was from working for the senior or another employer.
Here’s a shout out to those reputable home care companies who provide great care to seniors! I had no idea how hard it was for you to find and hire quality caregivers.
This is an excerpt from my new guide book for seniors, “Selecting Senior Housing for Seniors in the Silver Tsunami.” It will be coming soon to Amazon.com. If you sign up for my weekly newsletter on the right side of this blog, you will be notified when my new book becomes available. Check out my new website: Tips2Seniors.com or please follow me on Facebook
Photo credit to Moretimeforyou.com
Diane Twohy Masson writes this weekly blog to support and engage with other senior housing professionals. Her first book is Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full. Many sales teams and organizations have used the 12 keys contained in this book for their weekly book review.